James Franklin: Saquon Barkley had ‘very average’ combine

By Jesse Reed

Penn State head coach James Franklin had the privilege of watching Saquon Barkley develop for three years as a member of the Nittany Lions. So he, above all others, knows what Barkley is capable of doing athletically.

In case you don’t remember, Barkley had professional scouts, coaches and general managers practically drooling over what he accomplished at the 2018 NFL Scouting combine (combine details here).

In fact, one NFL coach wants Barkley on his team so bad he’s willing to do something rather disturbing to land the young running back.

This leads us to a rather interesting quote from Franklin referencing Barkley’s combine performance in February at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Now, this comment could be seen as some shade thrown by Franklin. But in fact, it’s quite the opposite. What Franklin is really saying is that Barkley is capable of doing so much more. And quite honestly, this shows up on tape. He has breakaway speed — he took a number of plays over 80 yards for touchdowns in college — and the size to power through tackles, can leap quite literally over would-be tacklers (like this) and is a spectacular receiver out of the backfield.

It’s rumored that Barkley is legitimately in play for the Cleveland Browns at No. 1 overall. He’s a special player and freakish athlete, and we can’t wait to see what he does at the NFL level.